The Grey-rumped Treeswifts of Bishan Park

The Grey-rumped Treeswift, Hemiprocne longipennis, is the only resident treeswift in Singapore. They were frequently seen hawking for insects over the Palm Valley of the Botanic Gardens up to a few years back. In May 2013, a pair was first seen nesting at Bishan Park (S.Ng in litt 2015). Since then, they have been reported using the low trees along the bicycle path to nest on a regular basis. Shirley Ng once counted four nestings at the park but only one juvenile fledged. She thinks that the low success rate could be due to the fragility of the nest cup, predation by crows and sterile eggs.

This year another pair was seen feeding a juvenile at its small cup shaped nest not too high above ground. The  nest was on an Aantoi or Cotton Fruit Tree , Sandoricum koetjape, (S. Ng). This juvenile appeared to be well over a month old. There was another older juvenile around, most likely from an earlier nesting. We hope to see more of these tree swifts making a home here at the park.

Whiskered Tree Swift Juv.
The chick was sitting on the nest which is only 6 meters above ground just by the bicycle path. The nest is on a Cotton Fruit Tree.
The father took up a perch close to the chick ready to fend off any would be predators.
The cup shaped nest was about the size of a 50 cents coin, attached to a thin branch and opened to the elements. 
The mother was earlier seen flying around hawking for insect over the river. We waited for an hour before it flew back to feed the chick.
Juvenile Whiskered Tree Swift
This juvenile started stretching and flapping its wings after enjoying a satisfying meal. Happy to catch it at full stretch.
It is not the prettiest chick around but it will blend in with the branches.
Sub-adult Grey-rumped Tree Swift
This sub-adult was from an earlier nesting most probably by another pair.

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